Extras – The Art Of Corpsing

Extras – The Art Of Corpsing


There’s nothing worse than corpsing
when you’re an actor. And you were… Shit. To the uninitiated, corpsing is when you
unintentionally laugh and ruin a scene. – Have you brushed your teeth today?
– Yeah. And it’s an absolute nightmare,
and you can’t stop yourself laughing. It’s a real extreme form
of hysteria in your body. Well, listen, we should get
a cup of tea or something sometime… Well, listen, we… Well, listen, we should… Well, listen, we should get a cup of tea… (SQUEALING) Well, listen, we should get
a cup of tea or something sometime… Oh! By the time you’re laughing during the
sixth take, no one else is laughing any more. Oh, it’s awful quiet. The difference on this programme
is that everybody corpses. And there’s nobody worse than Ricky. Morning, campers. Andy. When you’re acting,
you’re not caught up in the moment. Anything can put you off.
You’re never not aware of your surroundings. So suddenly,
one little thing will bring out the absurdity… – Of what you’re doing, exactly.
-…of what you’re doing. And you just go… You just… It’s impossible. Personally, I like to think of myself
as a consummate pro. – GOBBLER: I don’t get it.
– You don’t get it? I don’t laugh or anything like that.
I’m very hard to get going. – Action.
– I don’t get it. GERVAIS: (LAUGHING) Oh, God! I’m not even watching! (ALL LAUGHING) From the outside,
it looks like you’re indulging yourselves. – Yeah.
– Because you’re laughing. And, of course,
laughing is the one thing you associate with being irresponsible or joking around. And it’s not.
It’s just this uncontrollable reaction. I don’t get it. No. – I don’t get it.
– You don’t get it? I’ve been without a man so long… – I don’t get it.
– You don’t… (GERVAIS LAUGHING) I just couldn’t say anything.
Oh, it was hard, that. And I felt ashamed. I’m sweating like you can’t believe. You don’t get it?
I’ve been without a man so long, – I think I’d say yes if Ray asked me.
– GERVAIS: I’m not coming in to that. Corpsing’s one
of the most bizarre sensations. You can’t really explain it
until you’ve experienced it. – You got my pen?
– Yes, take it. – Don’t know why it’s in here.
– I didn’t know… – Having a wank?
– Yeah. It’s all over the place! Let’s go again.
I’m so sorry. I’ve never found a scene so hard
to perform as the one in which Andy Millman catches
the agent masturbating. Were you having a wank? I dread to think how many takes it took and in the end we were all gripped
with, like, a hysteria. And you really didn’t know
when it was gonna end. Luckily, I think we nailed the scene in under
a couple of hours, which was good going. When I wasn’t really acting, in The Office, and I used to watch Ricky crack-up during
scenes with other actors, it frustrated me. I didn’t understand
why you couldn’t just stop it. It was like they were having a laugh.
They were indulging themselves. They were being children.
And it’s not till you’re there and the cameras are switched on
and something is said and it sets you off and you can’t stop. You having a wank? – You got my pen?
– Yes, take your pen, please. Were you having a wank? – Have you got my pen?
– Yes, take it. Have it. Having a wank? – Right.
– Hello. I haven’t got… It’s already absurd because I’m on my knees
and he has to ask me the question, “Are you masturbating?”
Which is always gonna be tricky. Two grown men, one of whom
is asking the other that question. Were you masturbating? Ask me again? Oh. Were you masturbating? It’s the silence as well.
Because we knew that we had to leave, like… And I love those pauses, I love doing it
longer than you normally would. And, of course, all the time, Steve’s thinking, “Any second now he’s gonna say,
‘Were you masturbating?“ Were you… Were you masturbating
before I came in, then? Were you masturbating? Oh, God almighty. I was one second away there.
I was one second away. Well, I should have locked the door,
but I didn’t think ahead, and the moment took me
and I just went berserk. – This is what I’m talking about.
– We haven’t talked about this. – No. I didn’t think I had to.
– No. But… Can you look me in the eye? Almost certainly not. (ALL LAUGHING) Never have I laughed out of place, ever. Until today. Wizard… Wizard, your… GERVAIS: Okay. You cannot handle this script. You’ll learn the words
and you will speak them as if – you were saying them for the very first time.
– Yeah. And you were… Shit. Bollocks! Have you still got that catsuit
from The Avengers? I was a model of professionalism. Go away, Daniel. – GERVAIS: Oh, he laughed.
– Sorry, sorry. There was one moment
when I was doing the film sequence with Warwick Davis playing a wood-elf,
and I went up to him and I had to say… Wood-elf, why do you cry? Blow as I might, my flute makes no sound. And he’s doing this little voice,
and every time he said the word “flute”, it suddenly became incredibly funny. Blow as I might, my flute makes no sound. Can’t you see I’m upset? (SOBBING) Wood-elf. Sorry, I’m laughing.
Sorry, sorry, sorry. (SOBBING) My flute makes no sound. And without my music,
the birds cannot sing their morning song. This is serious. You try everything to put yourself off.
You don’t look at each other. You try to think about other stuff. Ashley at one point, I remember,
just started running around the set. As if she was going to run off
this laughter that she had. Well, listen, we should get a cup of tea
or something sometime… Oh, right, hold on. Wait a minute. Hold on. GERVAIS: This is all good.
What the fuck is she doing? I’m trying to cure… I thought I’d learnt not to corpse. Especially on live TV,
with some of the things that I’ve seen. But here was absolutely ridiculous. (WHISPERING) Sometimes… I don’t know who’s talking to who. And then he starts corpsing.
It’s the worst thing for me, ever. (WHISPERING) Sometimes… I’ve just done the most
unprofessional job in my entire career. I’ve done nothing
but laugh through the whole day. Men have knobs, women have fannies. Pop knob in fanny. I do this little scene with my finger,
and this being an orifice. And keep poking, like this.
And I can’t tell you, I was sweating buckets. A man has a knob, a woman… On the TV it takes about 30 seconds. But here in the studio
it’s taken nearly four hours. Pop knob in fanny. This is madness. Proximity is funny as well. So if you’re talking to someone,
it’s funnier if you’re talking to them like that. Straightaway you’re going,
“I’m never gonna get through this.” Because you can see
every bit of fear in their eye. You can see the slightest movement
if they’re gonna laugh. If they do that with their mouth,
and you’re gone. See, men have knobs, women have fannies. Pop knob in fanny. Oh, God, you fucking… Oh, God,
you don’t know how hard that is, Steve. – MERCHANT: Well, I was losing it here.
– Don’t… Fuck me. I defy anyone to sit there. It gets earlier in the take,
so if I know that that’s coming, I start laughing just slightly before that. Pop knob in fanny. Pop… Men have knobs, women have fannies. A man has a knob. It’s tiring. It’s because you think,
“Well, I’m never gonna get this now.” Pop knob in fanny. You bastard. Okay. Pop knob in fanny, not up your arse. I looked straight at the camera. Fucking… What could be more normal
than shoving your cock up a man’s arse? – Okay.
– Okay. It’s Keith Chegwin. – Okay.
– Cheggers plays cock. Of course, sometimes you do deliberately
try and make other people corpse. – We should flag that up.
– My favourite thing. If I can put someone off, but without
actually going wrong in the scene myself, that’s like a little game
I just play in my own head. – I’m actually having the drink.
– All right. Okay. (GURGLING) – And action.
– None taken. – MAN: Here we go. Very still.
– None taken. GERVAIS: What I do sometimes
is say things just before a take. There was one thing where
I had to say, “I’m going to The Ivy.” Before action and out of sight of the camera,
I just said to Ashley, “Okay, I’m gonna stick
a word on the end of Ivy.” So she thinks, “Oh, what stupid word
is he gonna do to put me off?” And what the word was,
was just “restaurant”. – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– I’m going to The Ivy restaurant. You know Vernon Kay and Tess Daly?
Oh, don’t laugh! – Why are you laughing?
– Cut! She laughed because she knew that
that was the joke, that it was a normal word. I looked fine. I looked like I was just saying,
“I’m going to The Ivy restaurant.” And it put her off. Every time. – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– I’m going to The Ivy restaurant. Oh, God! – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– Going to The Ivy restaurant. – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– Oh, for fuck’s sake! And you’ll see in the scene that when she
laughs, okay, because I’ve made her, I go… (SIGHING) Like that. So everyone around is going,
“Oh, come on. Come on.” But bear in mind, this is his TV programme. – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– Going to The Ivy restaurant. Oh, God! – Do you wanna go for a quick pint?
– I can’t tonight. – Why, what are you doing?
– Going to The Ivy restaurant. – That was interesting.
– Yeah.

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